From WILL - News Local/State -

Shimkus, Davis, Weigh in on Obama Budget Plan

A downstate Illinois Congressman says President Barack Obama is taking a ‘realistic’ approach in his fiscal budget.  But a fellow Republican calls cuts to Medicare and Social Security 'irresponsible.'

Collinsville Republican John Shimkus notes many are also ‘fired up’ over adjustments to total personal income in Medicare and Social Security.  He says entitlements are driving up the debt, and applauds the President for having a solution. 

But Shimkus said there are other parts of the plan he identifies as waste.

"We spend $100-million to remediate the environmental concerns of other countries," he said.  "We have a $4-million IRS TV studio.  So when you’re laying off air traffic controllers, I think you can make the credible argument – would you rather be sending money overseas for environmental issues, or funding our air traffic control towers?”

Meanwhile, Taylorville Republican Rodney Davis says he’s ‘ecstatic’ that the House, Senate, and President have each willingly released budget plans for the first time in four years.

But  Davis says President Barack Obama’s proposed new taxes and spending ‘aren’t good fiscal policy’.

He said one of the President’s plans that he can’t accept is the $1-point-1 trillion in new taxes.

Davis also said it’s irresponsible for the President to cut benefits to entitlement programs.  He said  the U.S. House budget will balance in 10 years, and won’t impact Social Security.

“And I think we’re at a time when we can all come together and make sure that the solvency of social security is a priority, which is something that politicians of both parties have done – kicked the can down the road and not addressed. And we need to do the same with Medicare," he said.  "Our budget that we put forth preserves and protects Medicare.  Our budget that we put forth preserves and protects Medicare, adds absolutely no changes to Medicare for current beneficiaries, or those who are about to retire.”

A member of the House Agricutlure Committee, Davis said he's waiting to see what kind of details come out in that area.  Davis said he's looking forward to working on a 2014 Farm Bill.